One of the most overlooked qualities of edible plants is their ornamental appeal. As gardens become smaller and more urban, plant breeders have risen to the challenge and developed fruiting plants that are dwarf, compact, and have multi-season interest. Here are some tips on incorporating fruits and berries into your landscape.
Blueberry bushes are at the top of the list of attractive fruiting plants. Their dainty spring flowers, fiery fall colors, and colorful winter twigs are all bonuses to juicy summer fruit.
Our spring blueberries have arrived and there are many types in stock. Look for our Blueberry list in the outdoor nursery.
There are many dwarf and semi-evergreen varieties available, and this year we are proud to carry the first trailing blueberry plants! Their variety names are ‘Midnight Cascade’ and ‘Sapphire Cascade’.
Plant these in a hanging basket, container, or near a retaining wall so they can spill over the edge.
Blueberries look fantastic sprinkled through the landscape or when used as an informal hedge.
If you’re making a hedge and want some uniformity to it, choose a few different varieties with similar growth habits, or use a self-fruitful variety en masse.
Grapes and kiwis are vining and are well-suited to growing up arbors, pergolas, and trellises. Grapes often have bright or deep fall colors, and their clusters of grapes are very attractive too.
Raspberries, blackberries, marionberries, boysenberries, grapes, and kiwis require some support or trellising, but also make great informal hedges.
If you lack planting space in the ground, it is possible to grow fruiting plants in containers. Stick with varieties suited to pots, like the ‘Bushel & Berry’ series of dwarf berries. This line was developed specifically for container growing, and as a result, includes several gorgeous varieties of compact blueberries such as ‘Raspberry Shortcake’ dwarf raspberry, and ‘Baby Cakes’ dwarf thornless blackberry.
Pruned and trained espaliered trees grow flat against a wall or fence and can also be used to create a living fence. Even if you aren’t limited in garden space, espaliered fruit trees are unique, beautiful, and space-saving.
We carry dwarf espaliered apple trees with multiple varieties grafted onto one trunk. You don’t need to start with a trained tree, but you can make your own espalier by starting with a young tree and pruning it into the shape you desire. We have many Bare Root fruit trees and berries in now.
There are countless ways of incorporating fruits and berries into the landscape. Every year I buy at least one new blueberry variety to add to my garden.
I love to come home from work in the spring and summer and go straight to the backyard – throwing the ball for my dog, checking on my plants, and eating whatever is ripe and within hand’s reach. As a result, eighteen different varieties now pepper my garden beds, and I have fresh blueberries from June to fall.
About the Author: Rachel is Molbak’s Garden Division Lead and has worked here for nine years. She has fond childhood memories of trips to Molbak’s with her family and loves connecting people with plants. Rachel‘s gardening passions are roses, Japanese Maples, fragrant plants, garden design, and seed starting.